Posted on 2014/11/16 07:41:34 (November 2014).
[Sunday 9th November 2014]
Today was a big family day, and we were visited at Chie's parent's house by a number of Chie's relatives. First to arrive was Sato-chan, Chie's cousin, and her son Kohe-kun. A bit later on we were also joined by two of Chie's aunts (Chikako-san and Naoko-san) and her uncle Kazuyoshi-san. Despite Chie's Mum imploring to Chie's aunts not to being anything over the phone (I think I heard her saying it about a dozen times) they arrived with enough cake to feed us all for several days.
After Chie's relatives left I popped out for a bit to take Erika for a stroll in her buggy in an attempt to get her to have a late afternoon nap, as she'd obviously been far too excited to sleep while all her relatives were visiting. I also had an ulterior motive in that I was craving a Negroni and thought if I walked over to Yamaya, the discount booze shop which has an impressive selection of international drinks, I could probably find the necessary ingredients. This became an interesting exercise as owing to the shortcomings of international banking I was temporarily left with very little Japanese yen, and shops there won't always accept my credit cards. I was very pleased with the end result in that I managed to buy bottles of the three requisites (gin, vermouth and a campari-esque bitter aperitif) for 1000 yen or under each - about £6 for each bottle at the current exchange rate. I also splashed out as I had some change and bought some really nice Japanese ice (it's very clear/pure and looks really good in cocktails).
Back at Chie's parents place in the evening I introduced Chie's Mum to the Negroni (or at least this bargain basement version thereof) and was pleasantly surprised that she seemed to really like it.
For dinner I offered to cook, and made a sort of pasta bake, which was a bit of a challenge as Japanese homes never have proper ovens, plus it was a struggle to find any decent looking cheddar nearby... but the end result was not entirely terrible. This we had with a bottle of English sparkling wine I'd bought for Chie's Dad, who'd heard English wine was becoming popular and was interested to try it. Not sure what exactly we were celebrating other than the fact the family was all together, but that seems as good a reason as any.
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